State Parks, DNR ask Belle to suspend Rock Island Trail development - Gasconade County Republican

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Representatives from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and State Parks visited with Belle aldermen June 7 asking the city to “suspend” development of its trail project for one year to allow state agencies sufficient time to “evaluate its options with Missouri Central Rail Road (MCRR).”

DNR’s Rich Germinder, legislative director since 2016, and Rebecca McKinstry, real estate manger/assistant general counsel for State Parks, presented three elected officials with a letter from DNR Director Carol S. Comer requesting the suspension of the Recreational Trails Project (RTP) grant.

The grant was awarded in 2014 to create a 1.1 mile trail through Belle city limits beside the former Rock Island railroad. In October 2016, the scope of the grant was changed to build a trail on top of the rail bed. The city requested permission from Ameren Missouri, owner of MCRR, and State Parks to begin the project early. They had hoped to begin the project in 2016 and complete it this spring. It was delayed again with this spring and city officials had hoped for it to be completed this fall. However, Comer’s letter has delayed the project for at least another year.

MoBikeFed comment: This situation is in line with the actions we have reported earlier in the 2017 legislative session, where Governor Greitens has indicated he will make a decision later in 2017 about the Missouri Rock Island Trail.

In the meanwhile, it is very important that citizens continue to contact Governor Greitens and let him know that we strongly support the trail.

Please be very polite and persuasive when you contact the governor's office here: